Just to make this clear: "dead" is a four-letter word. It's not what I aspire to, though at some point I will have no choice in the matter. I have started to wonder, though, if I haven't run afoul of the Grand Scheme of Things: people whose physical condition is not deteriorating presumably don't keep the Reaper on speed dial, while those of us who become just a little more decrepit each day might have a reason to look forward to that ghastly encounter.

I have, of course, long since given up any hope of walking unassisted ever again. It won't be too long, I suspect, before I am forced to give up driving: if it takes six minutes to put on one's right shoe, working automotive pedals becomes theoretical at best. Last time I was faced with this issue, I was able to compensate by changing the distance to the pedals; this no longer works effectively. The problem is simply an inability to move the right foot in a timely manner: it's a three-step operation to slam on the brakes, and this, I am persuaded, is two steps too many. A second problem arises at the other end of the body: my vision grows ever fuzzier, day by day, and I suspect I may be approaching the limits of what corrective lenses can do for me. I'm a long way from blind, but perhaps not such a long way from the curb.

This combination of two issues simultaneously creates a third: every automotive trip fills me with trepidation, even fear, which makes matters worse. The commute isn't exactly relaxing on the best days, and on the worst days, I grow increasingly anxious and occasionally even angry. Compensating for slowed reflexes has slowed my driving pace; I don't know if there were this many tailgaters before, but there are times when I am sorely tempted just to put the damn thing in Park and be done with it. (Matters are slightly worse this week, owing to what I assume is a failure in the cooling system: with temperatures in the 90s, the temperature gauge has been climbing beyond its usual just-below-one-half position, though it has never gotten into the Danger Zone. Yeah, it's probably fixable, and I wouldn't have to make much of a sacrifice to pay the repair bill; but I don't have time to sit around the shop. Will the dealership lend me a car? Probably. But I can barely drive my own car, with which I have a dozen years of familiarity; can I be trusted with one of theirs?)

Bodily functions generally are just barely functional. Liquid passes without difficulty; in fact, just getting up to pass said liquid tends to accelerate its passage, not a good thing when the nearer of two men's rooms requires a three-minute trip. Solids are better behaved, but cleaning up afterwards takes entirely too much bodily contortion. I wish I had room for a proper bidet.

I suppose I could console myself with the knowledge that I could retire in late 2019. The problem, of course, is getting through 2018. It may be too much to ask.

The Vent

  1 June 2018

 | Vent menu | E-mail to Chaz

 Copyright © 2018 by Charles G. Hill